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Sorry for the delay, Jeaii. Both could and managed services are very important to MSos now. They know their fat pipes can't sustain them much longer.

Blogger

MSO business strategy  - traditional appears to have been we can offer higher speeds.  Actually, I would argue that crease is what allowed MSOs to be where they are with commercial services.   Combined with DOCSIS technology advancements ahead of DSL, and the fact that MSOs offered Ethernet earlier (due to not haveing to retool TDM/SONET) architectures....How long can Fat Dumb Pipes sustain growth?   What are the other services, are they peeled out in an analyst survey anywhere.   How important is Cloud to MSOs?   What about managed services?

Light Beer

Didn't think so, Phil. :)

Blogger

thanks very much, Sarah. And thanks to all the questioners out there. See ya in NYC for pizza.

Blogger

No relation to Glenn Britt

Light Sabre

You're not the only one with those doubts. I hear about them every day. :)

Blogger

I'm looknig forward to more at the Cable Event next month in NYC!

Blogger

Hey All, We're coming up to the hour mark, so we have to wrap it up. Thank you all for joining and asking great questions. And, Alan, thank YOU for fielding them all so well!

Blogger

Yeah, so I doubt the want part, but makes sense. :)

Blogger

They re finslly starting to do so now, because they must. 

Blogger

Good point, Sarah. Cable companies want to badly. But they haven't always put their money where their mouth is on customer service.

Blogger

And I assume you're not related to TW Cable's Glenn Britt? 

Blogger

Yep, but the (maybe) good news, is that the rankings and perceptions are always in flux. On the wireless side, Sprint started at hte bottom, climbed its way up, and is now back to the bottom: http://www.lightreading.com/spit-(service-provider-it)/customer-experience-management-(cem)/sprint-slips-back-in-customer-service/d/d-id/706695? That means you can always change (IF you want to)!

Blogger

You're really beating that drum, Phil. Who and how bad is your cable operator?

Blogger

The phone companies used to be the ones with the customer service problem -- "we don't care, we don't have to, we're the phone company" -- Lilly Tomlin before the AT&T breakup. Have had issues with telcos, but it seems that cable today has a worse customer service reputation.

Light Sabre

So on the one hand this and on the other hand that. Overall, probably a good thing.

Blogger

I think you're right there, Jeaii. It should be a good thing if they adopt and meet the same quality standards as LEcs. But it will be a bad thing if they get bogged down in the same stodgy bureaucracies.

Blogger

Is it me or do the MSOs appear to be becoming more like their competitor LECs, with respect to processes and business approaches these days?  And if so, how would this be a good thing?

Light Beer

Many don't know that about the cable cos.

Blogger

So customers know the telcos can actually do it.

Blogger

True, Jeaii. But cable started from a lower place than the telcos. So it has a bigger climb uphill ahead of it. At least the telcos were once known for it.   

Blogger

Strange isn't it, the single most important thing to getting and keeping customers, yet it is still a struggle to provide good customer service.   But it just isn't an MSO thing, customer service is lacking broadly.

Light Beer

Not sure how cable ops can turn around their reputations quickly. It may still take a full generation of effort. 

Blogger

Sorry. i think that was Phil's comment, no?

Blogger

I'm afraid you're not the only one, MW. That's what our poll shows too. Still a big problem.

Blogger

Yes, Phil. It was. I'm sure there are others too. Wanna start some rumors now?

Blogger

mwilliamson92,

Hate to say it, but I don't think customer service and cable should be in the same sentence.

Light Sabre

Yes. Absolutely. And there's no easy answer there. Unless the federal government allows John Malone to buy up TW Cable and Comcast together. :)

Blogger

Wasn't DukeNet on the block for some time? Are there others like that up for sale?

 

Light Sabre

back to the same themes then of providing superior customer service.  the lack of a naitonal footprint will continue to be a hinderance though.

Light Beer

I'm wondering which companies will be bought by the cable cos next to expand their business offerings. TW Cable recently swooped in to buy DukeNet. Look for more moves like that.  

Blogger

So it should be a very interesting space to watch. 

Blogger

And businesses will be increasingly demanding such mobile apps from their broadband providers.f

Blogger

espcially as cable cos roll out more hotspots in commercial locations. It will be the new battlefront.

Blogger

Great question, MWilliamson. i think there's going to be an explosion of commercial apps in the coming year.   

Blogger

Not anymore, Jeaii. All the major US MSOs now see business services as their biggest area for growth. So they're pouring investment, staff and other resources into it now.

Blogger

what about mobile business apps?  we have already seen that many residential consumers use mobile apps to conduct personal business.  where do you seen businesses taking advantage of mobile apps?

Light Beer

Possibly, Sarah. they are being unusually aggresive on the small cell front.

Blogger

What are the CEOs of MSO's doing specifically to ensure growth of the commercial segment?  Are there still challenges, with commercial being a small percentage of the revenue, thus lacking consideration and focus?

Light Beer

what do you see as the primary motivation/driver for European MSOs to go after business service cusotmers?

 

Light Beer

Nice, sounds like they'll be on track -- maybe even ahead -- of the wireless operators on small cells.

Blogger

A few, like Virgin Media, already do a lot. But most don't yet.

Blogger

And we'll start to see European cable operators doing more in the biz services space as well.

Blogger

I think we'll start to see a bunch of cable small cell deployments in 2014 across the US.

Blogger

thanks, Darah. Small cells fit into cable ops' plans in a big way. They see a huge opportunity there. Comcast and TW Cable are both delving in already, as our Dan Jones has reported. 

Blogger

What's interesting is that most cable operators never gave GPON a serious look. Probably because Verizon is going with it. 

Blogger

On the mobile front, WiFi has taken off, and we're hearing a lot of rumblings about cable companies testing small cells. How do you think small cells fit in their plans, Alan?

Blogger

thanks, Sarah. It's always a good time to plug the cable business services event. :)

Blogger

Ray, DOCSIS 3.1 probsably won't be out in the market till 2015. But we'll start to see DOCSIS 3.1 gear rolling off the assembly lines next yar. 

Blogger

DPoE will finally come into play now, as a result of the EPON deployments. And 10Gig EPON will be a big factor. 

Blogger

But they need the fiber lines to do it.

Blogger

Good question, Jay. EPON could potentially play a huge role. Bright House is already using EPON to serve enterprises in Florida. Other MSOs, such as TW Cable, are looking to do the same.

Blogger

Willams92---small properties, ADB SBB solution perhaps...   But depends on how robust an MSO deployes a ProIdiom architecture.   Really depends, but both solutions/technologies are required I think to meet the market.

 

Light Beer

Ah yes, now would be a good time to plug the Cable Business Services Show. More details here: http://events.lightreading.com/focbs/

Blogger

Encryption will be huge. I was at a security conference yesterday in which an analyst said that the Justice Department's GENIE surveillance project will lead to a large increase in companies seeking to encrypt information. He added that Google and Yahoo are already moving quickly in this area.

Light Sabre

Ah right, cool - 2014 could be interesting with DOCsis 3.1 and vectored DSL butting up against each other in markets

 

Blogger

Thanks, Jeaii. Sounds like you know the hospitality market needs very well.

Blogger

what role will EPON play in the business services network?  how important is DPoE?  10G EPON?

Light Beer

DOCSIS 3.1 should be a big boon for cable business services efforts. we're going to have a pr4esentation about that at our conference in NYC in two weeks. much higher upstream speeds, for one thing.

Blogger

Good news for the vendors...

Blogger

I believe the encryption depends on the architecture.  I would like further argue does that encyption need to be intact to the TV or just to the property, but another forum.   ProIdioom when large deployments are in play such has Hotels who have ProIdiom capable TVs and no SBB are required.   But I have seen a large take in ADB in hospitality and other scenarios, whereby also gives the MSOs the ability to sell other services, such as VOD.

 

Light Beer

Ray, cable companies have to boost their network capacity and speeds. They also need to put in a lot more fiber links within their territories. And they need better customer service and assurance operations.

Blogger

Also, what products make sense for smaller hotels & motels, or boutique hotels, that want to provide an HD solution for their FTG customers?

Light Beer

Good question, MWilliams. Not sure I know the answer to that one. But I tend to doubt it. Hotels have very massive video needs.

Blogger

What do the cable cmpanies need to do re hteir networks to ensure they can deliver the required upstream capacity, esp for verticals that will want to be shifting data and video traffic?

Blogger

Yes, Ray, cable cos are trying to pitch a better usere experience than the telcos. But that's a tougher sell, as our own poll shows.

Blogger

ooh - time for a Google search! :-)

Blogger

Good question, Jay. Upstream has not been very important before because smaller firms didn't need that much capacity. But it's becoming very importanyt as cable cos go up-market.

Blogger

with the same product set?  For instance, many Hospitality FTG Video solutions require Pro:Idiom?  Is this true for other industry verticals?

Light Beer

Financial tends to lag retail when it comes to most technologies.

Light Sabre

Sarah, cable cos are also starting to target media firms and more types of government agencies. Cablevision in New York is a prime example. 

Blogger

Is there any evidence they are pitching a better customer experience in these new verticals to differentiate from telco offerings?

 

Blogger

They usually do so by going into markets related to the ones they're already operating in. For example, financial to retail.

Blogger

Welcome, mwilliams and JayF. Great questions. I would be interested to hear more about what new verticals they are targeting too, Alan.

Blogger

They also do a pretty good job serving segments that are regionally based, like hospitals and school districts, as well as local governments, I think. 

Blogger

how important is upstream in these offerings ?

Light Beer

It seems that many MSOs have already launched a Hospitality vertical.  How do they expand into other industry segments?

Light Beer

I agree, Jeaii. MEF standards are a big help to newer players like the cable cos.

Blogger

Sarah, cable ops are focused on introducing new and different types of Ethernet services to businesses. They're also trying to break into new vertical markets, such as hospitality.  

Blogger

I believe MEF standards are helping to drive alignment and standards with regards to Ethernet delivery across MSOs.  Anyone agree or disagree?

Light Beer

Good question, Phil, Haven't seen Comcast's usage numbers yet. But they are expanding hotspots like crazy, on both the resifdential and commercial ends. 

Blogger

They have to align their other products and services together too, like Ethernet. And they have to figure out a business model for sharing the revenues.

Blogger

How are they trying to expand then?

Blogger

Comcast has been advertising its hotspots in the Chicago area. Any idea of how much people are using these hotspots?

 

Light Sabre

Cable ops are starting to respond by hookimng up their WiFi and fiber networks to each other. But it's not enough yet.

 

Blogger

thanks, Carol. That lack of a national footprint hurts cable a lot in this space.

Blogger

For instance, in its latest earnings report, AT&T boasted about its U-verse business connections for the first time.

Blogger

So Alan, how much does the lack of a national footprint hurt cable in the enterprise space and what are they doing to address that?

Blogger

With the speed tiers of Coax delivered services combined with roll outs of BSoD, do commercial customers become more acceptable to a coax delievered service?

Light Beer

What will be interesting to see is how the telcos respond. Verizon and AT&T are both using their own fiber-based networks to fighht cable toe-to-toe.

Blogger

Sorry on the spelling, Jeali.

Blogger

No, Heali. the figures don't break out between coax and fiber. But i bet more ands more of the growth is coming from fiber.

Blogger

They want a good reason to switch from the telcos. So cable ops have to offer botyh cheaper and better service, which they're trying to do with things like Ethernet services.

Blogger

Not so much new and different. They just want more and better quality. They won't settle for coax. They want fiber, for instance.  

Blogger

Do the growth percentages being touted at 20% YoY, break out the 20% between Coax and Fiber opportunities?  Is it Speed focused...

Light Beer

What kind of services are they demanding? Anything new?

Blogger

And service quality, assurance and redundancy mean more to them than to smaller firms.

Blogger

Big companies are more demanding and more discerning. So thewy'll be more critical of MSOs.

Blogger

Good question, Sarah. I think the reputration problem still lingers. Won't exactly hold them back but it could hamper their efforts. 

Blogger

Hi Jeali. The MSOs are still mostly focused on DOCSIS for small business. But now they're also trying to deliver more fiber for larger enterprises.

Blogger

Welcome, jeali! Thanks for a great question.

Blogger

Alan, you also mentioned our LR poll results on the question of business services.  Cable operators can't seem to shake their old reputations for poor customer service. So, to re-ask your own question, how much will this hold them back as they try to go up-market in the business services space? Doesn't seem like it is too much.

Blogger

Alan, I don't actually, but I know it's been in the news...er at least the Jon Stewart news. Chicago won it back last night.

Blogger

Where should the MSO focus be, DOCSIS delivered commercial services (Small Business) or Fiber based (MetroE) services (Large Business)?

Light Beer

Comcast is by far the biggest US player. Should generate $3 biillion in revenue this year. 

Blogger

Guess you like Chicago stugffed better than NY thin?

Blogger

The market is big and growing at a 20% clip each year. It was at least $7 billion last year in the US and will be at least $8 billion this year.  

Blogger

Oh man, Alan, trying to start the controversy right off the bat with that pizza comment...

Blogger

Tough job but somebody's gotta do it. 

Blogger

Well, I know you have a few questions to get started, but I think a good place to start would be to give us the lay of the land for the cable business services market. How big is it now?

Blogger

Maybe you could start with a very quick update on the market -- are cable opewrators still winning business and market share in the business services sector (oh pizza man)?

 

Blogger

I'm also the official pizza taster for the LR team.

 

Blogger

Hi again, Sarah. Looking forward to our little chat today. 

Blogger

And, thanks to Alan Breznick for joining us. He wears many hats with us -- Leader of Light Reading's cable practice, Heavy Reading analyst, and host of our upcoming Cable Business Services conference in NYC.

Blogger

hi, Gabe. I can't imagine john Malone allowing such a thing. He only likes being the acquirer, not the acquiree.

Blogger

Welcome to everyone joining. Please introduce yourselves!

Blogger

Hi Alan, and everyone! You are not late, Alan...questions are just coming in early. We'll get started in just a few minutes.

Blogger

Hi, Sarah. Am i late? Looks like the questions are piling in already.

Blogger

Imagine the kerfuffle if Vodafone hinted at such a move just as some are expecting AT&T to move in on Vodafone!

I think the business services jewel in the Libery Global European crown just now is Virgin Media Business in the UK...

Blogger

Alan, what's your view on Liberty Global? It has consolidated quite a bit of the European cable market. Should Vodafone try to acquire it?

Light Sabre

Our poll results should make for interesting discussion as well. So far, they're showing that cable operators have not yet escaped their old reputations for poor customer service. How much will this hold them back as they try to go up-market in the business services space? We shall discuss.

Blogger

They have been on a tear lately, Ray. In fact, business servivces is probably the brightest part of most MSOs' earnings results right now. I'm looking foreward to discussing this development and more, as well as fielding everybody's questions on Thursday. I'll be primed and ready.  

Blogger

I'll be interested to find out how the market has changed during the past year -- the cable operators have been on a tear in the business sector in recent years, it seems to me.

Blogger

Hi Everyone! Please plan to join us for our next live chat on Thursday, Nov. 21st at 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PST with Heavy Reading Analyst and Light Reading Cable Editor Alan Brenick. We'll be discussing the future of cable business services. Hope to see you here on Thursday!

Blogger


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